Top Tips for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex

the salton sea, near the Coachella Valley, is california's largest lake—though it is shrinking in size due to runoff and evaporation.
 

  Welcome to the Refuge!

Welcome to the Refuge!

Don’t forget your water bottle, especially in the summer. There’s a water fountain outside the Visitor Center, Along with an accessible viewing platform, for a striking first glimpse of the refuge.

 The viewing platform is great, especially if you only have a very short time.

The viewing platform is great, especially if you only have a very short time.

Bring binoculars or a zoom lens on your camera, for a good look at the birds. Sonny Bono is a fantastic place to bird watch, especially as migrating birds spend winter there—though you are likely to find birds at any time of year, including the summer.

 Zoom in on those birds with your binoculars!

Zoom in on those birds with your binoculars!

 

Take the trail right outside the Visitor Center to the top of Rock Hill for an amazing view of the Salton Sea and San Jacinto mountains! trust us that the view is worth the hike, which is on level ground, with the exception of the final climb. gaze upon California's largest lake! Plus, you’ll likely see lots of birds on the journey.

 It's a climb but it's totally worth it!

It's a climb but it's totally worth it!

 Not really that far to the top.

Not really that far to the top.

 

You’re below sea level! The refuge is located at -234 feet—that’s pretty cool.

 Don't even think about swimming without a lifeguard!

Don't even think about swimming without a lifeguard!

Westmorland, the date capital of the U.S., is on the south end of the Refuge. maybe try the date shake?!

 It's a local treat!

It's a local treat!